TDP Says Monitoring CBI Case In Top Court For Future Course Of Action

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The TDP government snapped ties with the NDA earlier this year.

Amaravati:

The ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh is closely monitoring the ongoing trial in Supreme Court in the CBI case to decide on the course of action it should take to seek freedom for various institutions.

"If the Supreme Court takes appropriate action in the Alok Verma case, we may not go ahead. Otherwise, we will seek legal recourse requesting the Supreme Court to provide freedom for institutions like CBI, Enforcement Directorate, etc.," AP Planning Board Vice-Chairman C Kutumba Rao said.

The idea was to have an independent authority under the Supreme Court's scrutiny to ensure freedom of these institutions was protected, he told PTI.

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CBI Chief Alok Verma had approached the top court challenging the Centre's decision to divest him of his dutiesand sending him on leave following his feud with special CBI director Rakesh Asthana, who has levelled graft allegations against him. Mr Asthana has also been divested of his duties and sent on leave.

Pursuant to the top court's order, the Central Vigilance Commission's probe into corruption charges against Verma was conducted under the supervision of former apex court judge

Justice A K Patnaik and the report was filed in the court on November 12.

Reacting to reports that the TDP might move the Apex court seeking to restrain the Income Tax Department and ED from carrying out raids (at the behest of the Centre), Kutumba Rao, a key advisor to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, maintained that the idea was only to protect the independence of such institutions.

"There is still time for that. We are closely monitoring the proceedings in the Supreme Court (in the CBI case). If no appropriate action is taken by the court, we will go ahead with our plans," he said.

Asked what "appropriate action" meant, Kutumba Rao said it was constitution of an independent authority under the Supreme Court's scrutiny.

The Chandrababu Naidu government has recently withdrawn the 'general consent' accorded to CBI to exercise its authority in the state.

The TDP government had threatened in March last, after snapping ties with the NDA, to drag the Narendra Modi government to the Supreme Court over denial of special category status as well as the 'failure' to bridge the revenue deficit (caused by the state's bifurcation in 2014).

It also warned the Centre of legal action if the latter did not implement the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

However, no move has been made in that regard so far.

To a query on this, the Planning Board Vice-Chairman said they were awaiting the state High Court's judgement in the higher education department case.

"On the direction of the Supreme Court, we filed a petition in the High Court in September seeking implementation of the Apex Court's order in the higher education department (division of assets) case.

Based on whether or not our petition is admitted in the High Court, we will decide on the next course of action.

We will then file cases on other issues (like SCS and revenue deficit) as well," Mr Rao added.

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